Rabiah on Tawbah: You can only repent if Allah turns to you first

Al-Qushayri reported: A man said to Al-Rabiah al-‘Adwiyyah, may Allah have mercy on her, “I have committed many sins and acts of disobedience. If I turn to Allah in repentance, will he turn to me?” Al-Rabiah said, “No, rather only if he turned to you first could you turn to him. Know that Allah Almighty said: Verily, Allah loves those who repent and purify themselves.” (2:222)

Source: al-Risālah al-Qushayrīyah 1/214

عَنْ القشيري وَقَالَ رجل لرابعة العدوية رحمها الله إني قَدْ أكثرت من الذنوب والمعاصي فلو تبت عَلِي يتوب عَلِي فَقَالَتْ لا بَل لو تاب عليك لتبت واعلم أَن اللَّه تَعَالَى قَالَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ

1/214 الرسالة القشيرية